English Proverbs

Topics: A Man's Work, Another Man's Poison, English-language films Pages: 36 (10333 words) Published: December 12, 2011

Ability can take you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there. Zig Ziglar, in See You at the Top (1975), p. 380
Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
From Isle of Beauty by Thomas Haynes Bayly
Absence makes the heart grow fonder but makes the mind forget. The acorn (apple) never falls far from the tree.
Act today only, tomorrow is too late
Action is the proper fruit of knowledge.
Actions speak louder than words. (a common English saying)
Advice most needed is least heeded.
After dinner sit a while, after supper walk a mile.
All cats love fish but hate to get their paws wet.
All flowers are not in one garden.
All for one and one for all.
Alexandre Dumas, The Three Musketeers
All frills and no knickers.
All fur coat and no knickers.
All good things must come to an end.
All hat and no cattle.
All's fair in love and war.
All's well that ends well.
A play by William Shakespeare
Variant: All is well that ends well. - Divers Proverbs, Nathan Bailey, 1721 [1] All roads lead to Rome.
All sizzle and no steak.
All that glisters is not gold.
William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, act II, scene 7. Often corrupted to: All that glitters is not gold.
All the world is your country, to do good is your religion.
All things come to those who wait.
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
All play and no work makes Jack a mere toy.
Always care about your flowers and your friends. Otherwise they'll fade, and soon your house will be empty. An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
Originated in the 1900s as a marketing slogan dreampt up by American growers concerned that the temperance movement would cut into sales of apple cider. (Michael Pollan, The Botany of Desire, Random House, 2001, ISBN 0375501290, p. 22, cf. p. 9 & 50) Cf. Notes and Queries magazine, Feb. 24, 1866, p. 153: "Eat an apple on going to bed, // And you'll keep the doctor from earning his bread." [2] An army marches on its stomach.

April showers bring May flowers.
As fit as a fiddle.
As soon as a man is born, he begins to die.
As you make your bed, so you must lie in it.
Similar to You reap what you sow
Ask me no questions, I'll tell you no lies.
Cf. Oliver Goldsmith's She Stoops to Conquer (1773): "Ask me no questions, and I’ll tell you no fibs" Aught for naught, and a penny change.
An expert is the one who knows more and more about less and less. [edit]B

Bad news travels fast.
A bad penny always turns up.
A bad settlement is better than a good lawsuit.
A bad workman blames his tools.
George Herbert reports early English variants in Jacula Prudentum; or, Outlandish Proverbs, Sentences, Etc. (1640): Never hand an ill workman good tools.
An ill labourer quarrels with his tools.
The Works of George Herbert in Prose and Verse; 1881, New York: John Wurtele Lovell, Pub.; pp. 440 & 454 Compare the older French proverb:
Outil: ... Meſchant ouvrier ne trouvera ia bons outils: Prov. A bungler cannot find (or fit himself with) with good tools. Randle Cotgrave, A Dictionarie of the French and English Tongues (1611) Galen explains clearly, if less succinctly, in De Causis Procatarcticis (2nd c. A.D.), VI. 63–65: They blame their tools: why did the carpenter make the bed so badly, if he was any good? He will reply: "Because I used a poor axe and a thick gimlet, because I did not have a rule, I lost my hammer, and the hatchet was blunt", and other things of this kind. And the scribe, asked why he wrote so badly, will say that the paper was rough, the ink too fluid, the pen blunt, that he did not have a smoother, so that he could not write any better. Once again, this man holds his material responsible, and blames his tools as well, in mentioning the pen and smoother. And who does not know that artisans make themselves responsible for the deficiencies in their work too, when they cannot pin the blame on material and tools? Galen On Antecedent Causes, Tr. R. J. Hankinson, Cambridge University Press, 1998, ISBN 0521622506, p....
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